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Today we’ll be looking at a couple of drugs that first hit the market as eyedrops, for the treatment of glaucoma. Believe it or not, a few years later these drugs were being researched as potential treatments for male pattern baldness. Sounds like quite a story hey? Stay tuned to learn all about it.
0:27 – Intro
1:02 – Bimatoprost
3:05 – What are prostaglandins
3:48 – Latanoprost
5:00 – More about bimatropost
5:47 – Using latisse off-label
6:37 – Outro
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Now let’s dive straight into it.
So bimatoprost is a liquid medication that was first marketed in 2001, under the brand name Lumigan.
Lumigan is sold as eyedrops, and is meant to treat high blood pressure in the eye, including glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a very serious condition where the pressure in the eye increases. In the beginning there are no symptoms, but if it isn’t diagnosed and treated in time it can cause serious problems, including blindness.
Now soon after bimatoprost hit the market, users started reporting an unexpected side effect: their eyelashes grew longer, darker and thicker.
This led researchers to realize that bimatoprost could potentially be used to enhance the growth of the eyelashes, including for those patients with alopecia areata.
In case you don’t know what alopecia areata is, it’s an acute form of hair loss that has very different characteristics to male pattern baldness.
Its onset is rapid, it can strike at any age, affects both men and women, and, above all, is unpredictable.
It can affect the scalp, but it can also appear on the beard, eyelashes, eyebrows, as well as hairs in the body. In some cases it can cause patients to lose every single hair on their body.
So, in December 2008, the drug was approved by the FDA to enhance the growth of eyelashes, and was brought to the market under the brand name Latisse.
Now Latisse isn’t exactly marketed for the treatment of alopecia areata per se, but for, quote “hypotrichosis” of the eyelashes.